Pope Francis and outdated view of women
Sir, – Pope Francis’s response to the recommendations of the pan-Amazonian synod had been eagerly awaited with great expectations by the universal church. His response, entitled Beloved Amazon, must rank as one of the most disappointing papal documents of this century.
The pan-Amazonian bishops and people had requested a change in church practice to allow both married men and women to be ordained.
Pope Francis sidestepped the issue of married men being ordained, but where he was very adamant was in his refusal to even consider women being ordained as deacons.
He reiterated the traditional misogynistic Roman theology that excludes women from any form of ordination while reserving it totally for men. Instead of confronting the dire shortage of ordained ministers in the Amazon region by inviting married men and women to exercise their baptismal priesthood in the celebration of the Eucharist, he called on the Latin American bishops to pray for more male celibate vocations to the priesthood .
In so doing, he has failed to recognise and grasp that this tired old mantra of “praying for vocations” is not the necessary response in the 21st-century to revitalise a dying church.
There is no doubt that Beloved Amazon supports the Amazonian people’s struggle for justice.
However, from an internal Catholic Church perspective, Pope Francis has failed to see the contradiction in calling for justice for the Amazon while remaining blind especially to the continuing open sore of injustice endured by women within the church.
This response by Pope Francis will only hasten the demise of the present Catholic Church. – Yours, etc,